More Police Patrolling MD Highways On Thanksgiving Weekend
Patch manager Deb Belt wrote this story.
PIKESVILLE, MD — With millions of Marylanders traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Maryland State Police will increase patrols to target impaired, aggressive and distracted drivers on the state's highways, authorities said.
The State Police Impaired Driving Reduction Effort team, otherwise known as the SPIDRE team, will also patrol this weekend to remove impaired drivers from Maryland highways who endanger other drivers. Enforcement with saturation patrols from all of the state's 23 MSP barracks are planned to target DUI violators, according to a news release.
The initiative includes partnering with allied law enforcement and other state agencies to both enforce the law and reach out to the community through social media and electronic billboards.
Among the planned police crackdowns that start Wednesday:
- Anne Arundel County: The Annapolis and Glen Burnie barracks will focus enforcement efforts on Route 50.
- Baltimore County: The Golden Ring Barrack will boost patrols on interstates 695 and 83.
- Cecil and Harford counties: The JFK Memorial Highway, Bel Air and North East barracks will focus efforts on Interstate 95 and major county routes.
- Garrett County: Troopers at the McHenry Barrack will conduct crash reduction and DUI enforcement efforts on Route 219 and Interstate 68.
- Frederick County: The Frederick Barrack will increase enforcement on major county roads, including Interstate 70.
- Kent and Queen Anne’s counties: The Centreville Barrack will conduct enforcement operations for DUI and traffic violations on routes 301, 20 and 50.
- Prince George’s County: The College Park and Forestville barracks will bolster patrol on Interstate 495 and the southern parts of the county.
- Washington County: The Hagerstown Barrack will conduct DUI saturation patrols on interstates 70, 68 and 81.
- Wicomico County: The Salisbury Barrack will focus enforcement on routes 50 and 13.
- Worcester County: The Berlin Barrack will conduct DUI enforcement throughout the county, with an emphasis on West Ocean City.
AAA Mid-Atlantic expects 1.1 million Marylanders to travel 50 or more miles over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Drivers should expect congestion between Tuesday, Nov. 21, and Sunday, Nov. 26, the Maryland Department of Transportation said. Motorists are encouraged to travel off-peak if possible.
The State Highway Administration will suspend lane closures for non-emergency roadwork from 5 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22, through 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 27. For live traffic cameras and real-time roadway conditions, go to roads.maryland.gov.
Highway officials said these rules of the road will save lives:
- Drive Sober. Never drive impaired by alcohol or drugs. Make a plan for a sober ride home.
- Buckle up. It’s the law. Make sure all passengers, including those in back seats, are using seat belts.
- Slow down. Observe all posted speed limits.
- Pay Attention. Put the phone down. Eliminate all distractions and focus on driving.
- Be patient. Travel during off peak hours and allow extra time for unexpected delays.
- Share the Road. Drivers must look twice for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists.
- Move Over. Slow down or move over for all stopped, standing or parked vehicles along the roadside.
Police urge drivers to avoid impaired, aggressive and distracted driving. Adhere to Maryland’s Move Over laws, which require drivers to safely make a lane change or slow down when approaching a vehicle displaying warning signals.
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